Restoration Tips

Is your car squeaking at every stop sign? Could your paint use some touching up? Old Cars Weekly presents tips and techniques for restoring classic cars and parts. Browse our collection of articles from restoring brakes to preparing your car for auto shows. We are your comprehensive resource for antique auto restoration.

Do-it-yourself patch panels

Schrock cuts the sheet metal with the power shears.

Even on the West Coast and in Texas, it’s getting more difficult to find a 30-year-old or older project car without a case of the tin worm. Chances are, a project car is going to require some metal replacement, and when that metal isn’t available from a reproduction part producer or a parts car, there is but one alternative — make the part yourself. More »

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Tip-top floor pans

On top of the floor, where carpets will cover the very solid repair the waterproof fiberglass filler can be left unsanded if you want only a basic repair.

Many unit-body cars need floor panel repair or replacement. Whether it’s best to fix an isolated rust hole in the existing floor or cut it out completely and install an entire floor pan depends on the size of the hole and your preference. The floor pan is an important structural part of a unit-body car, so large rust holes or widely dispersed pinholes mean a new floor pan is in order. However, if the rust is isolated, new patch panels can be installed, thus saving some of the original sheet metal and money in your wallet. More »

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Exterior resto tips for classy chrome

Parts that have been treated with copper are buffed and polished before they are ready for final chroming. A variety  of metals can be chromed, including cast iron, steel, pot metal, brass and bronz. This piece had surfaces that needed to be hit with both hand tools (above) and a large buffing wheel (below).

Plating expert Terry Meetz knows there’s nothing easy about getting that prefect shine. Meetz has clearly ascended to the top of his profession, and he’s done it the old-fashioned way — by spending thousands of hours toiling in the family shop and slowly winning over customers one at a time around the globe. His business, Custom Plating Specialists, began 30 years ago. More »

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Tip-top convertible roof installation

Upholstery professional D. Chase begins removing the convertible top of a 1984 Buick Riviera, noting how the top was originally installed in order to reinstall it in the same manner. The location of holes, staples, studs and glue are all noted and photographed.

Not all cars are equal, nor are their convertible tops. No-frills cars are likely to have relatively simple tops, but luxury cars often have more complicated tops, such as the roof covering on the featured 1984 Buick Riviera convertible. Installing one of these tops is no easy task, so replacement of this top was trusted to a professional, D. Chase of Chasin’ Perfection. More »

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Painting the pony

Shawn Schrock lays down the first layer of paint on a 1966 Mustang at Kasper Automotive in Waupaca, Wis.

Leonard Schrock jokes that he can’t block sand, paint and buff “all day like I used to be able to. I could just go for hours and never get tired.” After 36 years in the bodywork and auto restoration business, aches and pains can creep up on a guy. Still, Schrock insists he’s able to do bodywork and paint projects better and faster these than he’s ever done them before. Find out how… More »

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Stop window shake and rattle — but keep the roll

The correct-type window sweeps are shown installed on the doors using the correct rear-mounted clips, rather than ugly and incorrect rivets that could scratch the glass as it passes.

Proper window installation tips and tricks Story and Photos by Angelo Van Bogart Proper window and weatherstrip installation will leave the “shake, rattle and roll” to your car’s radio and Highway Hi-Fi, not its window glass. Annoying window glass rattles … More »

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Accent your old car with pinstripes

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You can accent your favorite vintage car with new pinstripes, and all it takes is a little preparation, some research, a few tools, some special tape and time. All pinstripes were put on the featured vintage luxury car in less than eight hours! It may take even less time if you are striping a 1970s or 1980s car using these tips, too. More »

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Spring Guide to Auto Restoration now online!

From big projects that will make your spring go by fast to little projects to fill free weekend moments, we have a little bit of everytihng to move your restoration along in this issue of Old Cars Guide to Auto … More »

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Tech Tips: Tricks for do-it-yourselfers

...I cut each bag in half, and now have 12 filters for my shop vac for two bits.

We’ve received many excellent “Tech Tips” through the years, from many different readers. In this issue, we’re running several different “Tech Tips,” all generated from one reader: O.C. Kocher of Saint Cloud, Wis. Mr. Kocher submitted the “Tech Tips” listed … More »

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Cool radiators for hot cars!

Bob Schirmer applies some black finishing paint to a radiator at Glen-ray Radiators in Wausau, Wis. The family- run business began in 1964, and in recent years has been specializing in repairing and reproducing radiators for big-block Chrysler Corp. muscle cars.

Glen-ray Radiators is armed with two attractive options when a MoPar owner needs a radiator. They can put their years of experience and perfectionist personality to work to fix a customer’s existing radiator, or they can make them up an identical replica using all the correct factory stampings. More »

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